Improved ISO rating gives peace of mind

Published 7:21 am Wednesday, October 28, 2020

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On Monday, Lanett Fire & EMS Chief Johnny Allen announced that the Insurance Services Office (ISO) had increased Lanett’s rating from a 3 to a 2. This puts the LFD within the top two percent of fire departments in the U.S. and the top two percent in Alabama. Fire departments are rated between 1 and 10 with 1 being the best and 10 not meeting basic ISO requirements.

Anything above a 5 is good, 3 is excellent and 2 puts the department among the best in the nation.

“We have come a long way since I got here in 2006,” Allen said. “We were a 6 back then. We were reclassified as a 3 in 2015, and now we are a 2. I have thought for a long time that the people of Lanett and the surrounding area were so fortunate to have the quality of training we have with our firefighters and our EMS staffs.”

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Allen said the people of the Valley area are fortunate to have a first-class communication system along with well-equipped and trained fire and EMS departments. There are strong mutual aid agreements between local departments to be at any emergency if needed.

The ISO rating determines how well your local fire department can protect your community and home. Insurance companies use the score to help set home insurance rates as a home that is less likely to be destroyed by fire is cheaper to insure.

There is a lot of work that goes into maintaining the ISO level and the work has proven to have paid off for Wood and the Lanett Fire and department.

Lanett’s score in the latest rating was 85.6. That’s getting close to a 90, which is a No. 1 rating.

“It’s almost unheard of for a small-town fire department to be rated a 2,” Allen said. “The equipment and training of your fire department is half of that score. Another 40 percent is your water department and 10 percent your communications. We scored a 100 on the communications portion. The credit there goes to Chambers County 9-1-1 and the Emergency Management Agency (EMA). We are so fortunate to have them.”

Allen also gives credit to former Superintendent Steve Crawley and Shane Stodghill of the Lanett Water Department for the work they’ve done.

“They have worked hard on their end,” he said.

Allen said it was very exciting for Lanett to have such a lofty rating and that it should make for a strong selling point for the Chambers County Development Authority (CCDA), and we could not agree more. The residents of Lanett should sleep much easier knowing that your Fire and EMS department is well equipped to protect your family, property and give you peace of mind while you are away from your home or business.

We commend the City of Lanett for being committed to improving our city’s Fire and EMS rating.